Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Bribe Files Complaint Over Treatment After Arrest of Intoxication in Wedding Dress

260xstoryJade Puckett in Houston, Texas spent her wedding night in a wedding gown in a cell with twenty other women at the Harris County jail after she and her new husband were pulled over in a sobriety roadblock. Police say that Puckett became belligerent and was arrested. She is not contesting the charge (which was pleaded out as public intoxication), but she has filed a complaint over her abusive treatment by Harris County officers. That complaint appears to have considerable merit.

Puckett’s complaint alleges that officers had great fun with her after throwing her into the common cell. She says that officers repeatedly opened the cell door to show laughing onlookers the scene of her sitting in her wedding gown. While she was waiting for the hearing on her case, she says that someone came in to the holding room to take numerous pictures of her in her gown and then put those pictures on the Internet where they are quite popular.

The privacy of arrested individuals is relatively low. As shown by countless mugshots of celebrities and even videos like that of Sidney Blumenthal’s booking, the police may release embarrassing material as part of the public record. However, this is different. If officers used Puckett as a tourist attraction, those officers should be fired as not just unprofessional but cruel. It was a terrible mistake for the couple to drive after drinking at their wedding reception. Couples will often over-indulge on such occasions. Moreover, the police cannot simply let the driver go. It is also not possible to judge the basis for the bride’s arrest (who was not driving). I would hope that the officers tried hard not to arrest the bribe under these circumstances but they may have had a reason. However, that is no excuse for the public humiliation alleged here.

Notably, Puckett also alleges that she was refused the opportunity to change clothes, which strikes me as a bit odd and cruel under these circumstances.

For the full story, click here and here.

12 thoughts on “Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Bribe Files Complaint Over Treatment After Arrest of Intoxication in Wedding Dress”

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  2. I often wonder how much longer will, or more importantly, CAN, citizens tolerate this type of outrageous behavior from the people they pay to uphold the laws, and protect them. Tolerate this from our EMPLOYEES. The police have a terrible track record at policing themselves. The higher ranking officers almost always side with the lower rank & file police. So you won’t get justice from them. So I wonder, if given the steadily increasing cases of police brutality, murder, theft, rape, drug dealing, etc…..if left with no “legal” recourse, if the people, feeling they have no other option (and because of that, feel justified) will just start making their own “laws” and or taking the law into their own hands; Defending themselves accordingly against rogue police?
    I have read that “is an officer of the law only when he is proceeding according to law. The moment he steps beyond the law, they, like any common civilian, forfeits its protection, and may be resisted like any other common criminal. An unconstitutional or illegal statute is no law, in the view of the constitution. It is void, and confers no authority on any one; and whoever attempts to execute it, does so at his or her own peril. The holding a police commission is no legal protection for them.

  3. Mike,
    Amen to your comments. Les,the problems that we have with the government in Illinois isn’t related to the mixing of religion into politics and public education. As to the other possible war criminals that you referred to, John Yoo, for example, is not as likely a candidate for the honor of being called a war criminal as George Bush. As to Cheney, I think he lives on dark side so he may not have a real address.

  4. rafflaw,

    Oh, absolutely there are crazy problems in the Texas government, and there are lots of narrow-minded folks there, but I honestly don’t think it’s worse there than in Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Illinois, etc. Good people and not-so-good people all living together in the same state.

    But those are all, at the same time, beautiful places to live for a variety of reasons. Texas is in the news a lot, maybe because it’s big, I don’t know.

    As far as harboring war criminals, I don’t know where Cheney lives, or Kissinger, (hell, John Yoo lives in Berkeley!), but I think most states harbor and protect criminals who committed their injustices under the auspices of the government.

    If you’ve never been to Austin (to be honest, the only area in Texas I like to go to), you must go. It’s a unique, progressive, and culturally diverse place with great food and music. And college girls, too. Wonderfully progressive, diverse college girls.

  5. Les,
    Of course there are good people living now and who have lived in Texas. Molly Ivins was wonderful, Anne Richards, Willie Nelson, etc., etc. The State though seems to be run by money and religious hypocrisy. The State leads the nation in executions. Has ridiculous drug laws. Ranks low in education. Since 1995 has had George W. Bush and Rick Perry as Governors. This is the “umpteenth” bad police work in Texas article we’ve seen here in the last two months. You’re right judging people by where they live is unfair. Judging a State by who it elects though does seem fair. Besides the execrable Rick Perry, Texas has the equally bad (and dumb) John Cornyn & Kay Baily Hutchison, and has had Tom DeLay in the House. These people are all supported in Texas by the wealthy and owe their positions to them. None of them were even marginally intelligent and yet they have been elected over and again.

  6. Les,
    I can’t speak for Mike, but there are some good people in Texas. It is just a shame that they have to live among some of the most narrow minded people in the country. Have you been reading the postings here about all of the judicial problems in Texas? How about the number of people who are executed every year in Texas? How about the education chief trying to push creationism into the public school curriculum? Those are just a few of the problems that I have with Texas. Oh, I almost forgot, George W. Bush is from Texas. There are not too many states that have war criminals living within their borders.

  7. rafflaw and Mike,

    Some of the most liberal and wonderful people I know have lived in Texas for years and love it there. I don’t think Texas is more conservative or religious than other conservative states. Do you have evidence that it is? Why would someone like Molly Ivins stay there her whole life if more people there than elsewhere weren’t empathetic? Isn’t it a kind of bigotry to judge many people based on the behavior of some people?

  8. Rafflaw,
    I agree about Texas. PO’s without empathy are merely storm troopers. Texans in general do not seem to be an empathetic lot. this is quite interesting because the State is also a religious hotbed. how does one pretend to be a Christian and lack empathy? Take that back, I already know the answer.

  9. This is just another reason to stay out of Texas. The Lone Star state needs to be left alone and forgotten. The police officers involved here should be fired for their abusive actions and then we should allow Texas to secede from the Union.

  10. “All power corrupts and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.” Lord Acton

    If we don’t police the police, the power we give them in our name may eventually lead to the exhibition of brides in jail. This isn’t a comment on the nature of police, but on the nature of humans. I remember being a public defender and watching the jail staff laugh at my client as she rolled on the floor, screaming, as they brought her in to speak to me. She was a heroin addict, and a former nurse, but they assumed she was faking. Over the next couple years, I wasn’t surprised when a few people died in jail after not receiving medical treatment under similar circumstances. I guess they’d heard so much lying that they assumed she was lying too, but my client, instead, crashing “back down.” Luckily she lived.

    Most of the officers I know would have likely “loved” this bride and cut her some slack on her wedding night, but a few would have used her as a toy, fearless that anything would happen to them as a result. After all, they’re the “good guys.”

  11. All mankind love a lover.
    –Ralph Waldo Emerson

    We either have proof that Emerson was wrong, or that the definition of “mankind,” does not include some members of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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